The last time many of us had seen Corey Crawford get some hockey action was in a crushing game 2 defeat where he had allowed 6 goals to the Nashville Predators to see the series tied up at 1 game each. But after a rough start for Scott Darling, Crawford was just exactly what the Blackhawks needed.
Like many of the games in this series between the Predators and Blackhawks, it was not a surprise to expect another high scoring game in game 6. And it started off with a frenzy. James Neal was able to get the first goal past Darling just over a minute into the action for his third goal of the series, assisted by Seth Jones. Neal had a clutch goal in game 5 to send the series to a 6th game, and he got everything going quite well. Then after a holding penalty on Kimmo Timonen, the Predators added another goal when Neal got another goal in this series, assisted this time by both Cody Franson and Filip Forsberg.
Just two minutes later, Patrick Sharp got the Blackhawks on the board when he had been assisted by both Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith. But despite cutting the two goal lead to one, Darling would give up another goal just 39 seconds later when Matt Cullen gave the Predators their 2 goal advantage back. It was at this point that the Blackhawks had seen enough from Darling allowing 3 goals on 12 shots and decided to go with Crawford again.
Within another minute James Neal had been called for cross checking and was sent to the penalty box but would not be there long as Toews scored a power play goal and was assisted by both Sharp and Patrick Kane. The Blackhawks would then win a faceoff with 8 seconds left in the period and had some quick passing as Brad Richards won the faceoff, passed it to Keith, and then Keith passed it back to Kane who put it up in the upper right corner of the goal to tie the game up at 3-3 at the end of the first period.
Things would stay quiet from then on when Duncan Keith, who already had 2 assists in this game, decided to get in on the scoring himself. He scored at the 16:12 mark of the third period with Toews on the assist as the Blackhawks finally had a lead on Pekka Rinne with just a few minutes left to win the series at home. The Predators would end up pulling Rinne but still were unable to get the puck in for the game tying goal as Crawford saved all 13 shots that were attempted on him in 48 minutes of action.
Next up for the Blackhawks will be a second round series as they will face either the Minnesota Wild or the St. Louis Blues.